The Iowa Utilities Board says the state’s largest phone company can’t increase the cost of basic residential phone service for some Iowans. Qwest asked permission to charge small and mid-sized communities the same twelve-dollar-and-65-cent rate charged in large metropolitan areas. Utilities board spokesman Rob Hillesland says the board ruled the change would go against the rate plan already in place for Qwest. The rate for small exchanges will state at 10-dollars and 71-cents-per-month, and the mid-sized rate will remain at 11-dollars and sixty-eight cents-per-month. Hillesland says the Utilities Board will allow Qwest to change the rates it charges for business service so smaller and medium-sized communities will pay about four dollars more per month. He says they also approved a change in charges for wholesale service — that’s the service Qwest provides to other phone companies.Hillesland says the change allows Qwest to charge phone companies in small and mid-sized communities more for wholesale service. Hillesland says the changes impact thousands of Iowans.A Qwest spokesman says the company has 738-thousand residential phone lines and 338-thousand business lines in Iowa.
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